Green Belt Movement
This grassroots non-governmental organization was started in 1977 by Prof. Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist and political activist. She was trained in veterinary medicine in Germany and extended her activities to enforcement of human rights, a democratic form of government, equal opportunities for women and was elected to Parliament in 2002 where she served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural Resources. She was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her ‘contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace’.
The initial idea of the movement was a tree planting program for rural women in Kenya to address the challenges of deforestation and the related soil erosion as well as to restore and ensure their main source of fuel or cooking. Today it became a vehicle for empowering women while the act of planting a tree is helping women throughout Africa to become stewards of the natural environment. By now, more than 51 million trees have been planted in Kenya since the very beginning of the Green Belt Movement which results in reducing of soil erosion in critical watersheds and thousands of acres of biodiversity-rich indigenous forests have been restored and protected. Tens of thousands of women were trained in forestry, food processing bee-keeping and other trades that help them to earn income while preserving their lands and resources. Meanwhile the Green Belt Movement is working on a national and international level and focuses besides conservation activities on environmental education and livelihood creation. Communities are engaged through the unique 10-step tree planting procedure whereby they learn to make linkages between the challenges they face and environmental degradation. A pan-African network was established in 1986 and covers 13 African countries by now. Furthermore, the movement supports the ‘Billion Tree Campaign’ since 2006, a successful tree-planting project of the ‘United Nations Environment Programme’ that registered more than 12.5 billion planted trees worldwide.
Papa Musili Safaris Ltd. supports the Green Belt Movement by providing well-directed excursions to create awareness to clients for this project.